The Origins Of Hip Hop Culture

754 Words 4 Pages
Hip hop culture can be traced all the way back to the 1930’s when African American men would retell stories, sometimes of World War I, using rhythm, rhyme and poetry for entertainment. This process was often referred to as “signifying” or “playing the dozens.” These soon were passed on and became what we today know as rapping. Telling a story was still a prevalent part of rapping but improvisation was introduced around the 1970’s. During this time, there were block parties around New York and largely the Bronx going on where DJs would introduce their innovation of popular funk and soul tunes. DJ Kool Herc is one of those who is thought to be a founding father of hip hop for his manipulation of these genres in his work and the isolation of percussive …show more content…
This as well as DJing and rap were spreading all across New York when Afrika Bambaataa creates Universal Zulu Nation. He describes it as having the four elements of hip hop culture, which he believes, are DJing, break dancing, graffiti, and MCing. Meanwhile, DJ Grand Wizard Theodore unknowingly invents “scratching” which is when the DJ puts pressure on the record under the needle during a break. This new innovation starts becoming more popular in the works of DJs around New York. By this point, hip hop has spread to all the boroughs of New York while disco is the mainstream genre in clubs. In 1979, the group Sugar Hill Gang is formed and they release “Rapper’s Delight” which exposes hip hop to a much larger group of …show more content…
Artists like Grandmaster Flash are releasing tracks that are socially conscious and the movie Wild Style is made which delves deeper into hip hop culture. Because of the spread of hip hop throughout the country, and groups like Run-D.M.C. popping up in L.A., hip hop is being shown on MTV and there are documentaries being made about subjects such as subway graffiti and other subgenres of hip hop culture. In 1984, Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons establish Def Jam records. Then, in 1986, Run-D.M.C. releases their rendition of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” which shows hip hop’s reach into rock and other popular genres of music rather than just hip hop. This rendition is also nominated for a Grammy and shows that hip hop won’t be underground for long. Other hip hop groups that are nominated and even win Grammys are Public Enemy, DJ Cameron Paul, and MC Hammer. Eventually, in 1989, Rap becomes its own category at the Grammys but isn’t aired on television. This causes some artists to boycott the award show with MTV. Despite this success for hip hop, many are starting to think that it may be corrupt after violence breaks out after a Run-D.M.C. concert in L.A. N.W.A. releases their first album and help elevate West Coast hip hop in spite of the controversial subject about retaliation against the police on their album.

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